The Oxford Medical Dictionary defines "corticosteroid" as "any steroid hormone synthesized by the adrenal cortex".
There are two main groups of corticosteroids :
Glucocorticoids (e.g. cortisol, cortisone, corticosterone), whose functions include:
- Utilization of carbohydrate, fat and protein by the body.
- Normal response to stress.
- Anti-inflammatory effects.
- Hypersecretion of cortisol results in Cushings Syndrome.
Mineralocorticoids (e.g. aldosterone), whose functions include:
- Regulation of salt and water balance.
- Hypersecretion of Alderosterone decreases the potassium in the body (affecting nerve impulse transmission and leading to muscular paralysis).
See also: What is a Hormone ?
For further general information including the locations of the endocrine glands, see the Endocrine Glands of the Human Body.
- Introduction to the Endocrine System
- What is a hormone ?
- Water Soluble Hormones vs Fat Soluble Hormones
- Triggers for Hormone Release
- Hormone Regulation Feedback Mechanism
- Major Glands of the Endocrine System
- The Pituitary Gland
- The Adrenal Glands
- Non-endocrine tissues that release hormones
- Conditions of the Endocrine System